Iowa health officials: obesity rate dip is good, but still too high


Iowans are still more obese than residents of most states, but the obesity rate is slightly declining, according to a report shared by Iowa Public Radio.

Citing numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2016, the obesity rate in Iowa stands at 32.0 percent, down from 32.1 percent the previous year. The state is tied with Nebraska as the 13th most-obese state in the country.

The most-obese states, with rates in the more than 35 percent range, are clustered in the deep south and Appalachia, with Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia as the top five.

The three least-obese states are Colorado, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Erin Olson, a consultant with the Iowa Department of Public Health, told IPR she is encouraged by the downward trend in the obesity rate, but noted the state still has a lot of room for improvement.

“We still have a large proportion of adults who are overweight or obese,” she said. “While we have a good trend, it doesn’t mean we can stop the work.”